Debut Novel Releases January 2018 and A Doe-Eyed Girl Named Dani (Be a Test Reader/Reviewer and Meet Her Now!)

Debut Novel Releases January 2018 and A Doe-Eyed Girl Named Dani (Be a Test Reader/Reviewer and Meet Her Now!)

Much of Day 211 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project was spent at my desk/dining room table working on to dos for my debut novel, and since I have a female reindeer who reminds me of Rudolf’s love sitting there, she put me in mind of a doe-eyed girl named Dani in my book. She’s a best friend of the heroine, Lee. She may be doe-eyed and innocent in the best way, but she’s far from naive. In fact she’s one of those peculiar young women whose looks are rivaled only by her sweet nature and her smarts. Dani also has the qualities most of us want in a BFF. She’s no fair-weather friend and sticks with Lee through the thick of her domestic violence journey. Daniella exemplifies what I refer to in coaching as backbone and heart, meaning she brings out the best in Lee and gently nudges her by speaking the truth in love when Lee would settle for less. If she wasn’t fictitious, haters would definitely hate her. But she’s just flawed enough that it’s impossible to. I love this supporting character. Hopefully you will too when you read my debut novel and meet this doe-eyed girl named Dani.

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This doe-eyed reindeer reminds me of Clarice from Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer and of one a favorite character, Dani, from my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose writer, I can’t express how excited I am that my lifelong dream of being a published author is about to come true. In some ways, I remind myself of a doe-eyed girl when I consider how naive I was when I set out to write a novel. At the time I thought I’d write during the summers while I was off from teaching and finish it in a few years. I didn’t even know what I didn’t know about writing or publishing…After all of the revising, rewriting and editing that original novel no longer exists. Dani, however has lived on from one version to this final one. I’m incredibly proud of it and shine a special spotlight on Dani in the final chapter. She’s a doe-eyed girl named Dani but she’s also an original Pink Collar Savvy & Chic swan.

If you’d like to meet Dani before Seasons of Her Soul releases and are willing to serve as a beta (test) reader and to write a short review that will show up on Amazon the day of the release (January 20, 2018), please email me at with “Seasons of Her Soul Beta Reader” in the subject line and I will send you a PDF. If you’ve already agreed to be a reader, your copy is coming soon. Thank you!

pinkcollarcoach@outlook.com

Be  savvy & chic,

~~Pink Collar Coach

 

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Giving Thanks to the Lord for Good Test Results and Looking Forward to Getting Back to Life and Reality

Giving Thanks to the Lord for Good Test Results and Looking Forward to Getting Back to Life and Reality

Day 180 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project was one spent having procedures to determine why I’ve been so sick for the past month and giving thanks to the Lord for good test results! Now I’m looking forward to getting back to life and reality. And while the doctor’s orders were that today be a lazy day, I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you who have read about my medical challenges/Ds and reached out with well wishes and prayers. You readers are part of my resilience strategy and the blog has helped me bounce back. Both have played a role in me getting better because I didn’t want to renege on my promise to post daily (I did miss a few…). Nor did I want to lose those of you who have been kind enough to stick with me while I’ve been sick, even if you were sick of hearing about it!

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Shabby Chic inspired Thanksgiving decor from TJMaxx – last season.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Cygnet, I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired! So while I’m thankful for today’s test results and hopeful the rest of them will come back good, I’m ready for a new day. I’m not 100%, but I’m laying claim to the verse in a song I used to teach in Kids Club:

And now let the sick say I am healed

Because of what the Lord has done for us!

That being the case, tomorrow, I plan to get back to life and back to reality. Completing revisions for my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul in order for it to be released in January, focusing on my business, including rescheduling and scheduling coaching sessions, returning to Zumba and starting to teach (yes!), and planning for my next workshops are only a few of the things while I was down. Excited as I am about all that, being able to get out and about to post pictures to accompany what content I hope you love is what motivates me. That and glorifying  the Lord to whom I owe, and give, so much thanks.

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Give Thanks to the Lord pumpkins flank front porch stairs.                                                         Not only are they pretty and welcoming, they remind others to have grateful hearts.

What situation have you come through, medical, personal, professional or otherwise, for which you are thankful? How can you be savvy & chic on purpose about expressing that thanks?

 

Pink Collar Coach’s Confessions of A Beginning Blogger: A Weekend With Artful Blogging

Pink Collar Coach’s Confessions of A Beginning Blogger: A Weekend With Artful Blogging

Day 179 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose was low key day spent like much of the rest of the weekend –  with my latest copy of Artful Blogging. Though the first day of daylight savings time started out warm, it soon deteriorated into tornado and flood flash warnings accompanied by rain. And while the forecast prevented me from checking out the much anticipated roll out of “Hearth and Home with Magnolia”, Target’s new line from Fixer Upper’s Joanna and Chip Gaines, I was OK with a quiet day at home – listening to Joel Ostend’s message on bitterness, doing light housework, and lounging around watching HGTV and reading. As a new blogger, Artful Blogging has become one of my favorite magazines. In fact, it’s what inspired me to give blogging a second try.

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Artful Blogging atop a gold Moroccan pouf and Aubusson needlepoint rug.                     Magazine from Barnes and Noble, pouf from Home Goods, and rug from TJ Maxx. 

Back in 2009, when blogging took off, I started a blog: True Confessions of A Christian Girl. It was my first foray into the social media world. I’d been hesitant about putting myself out there having gone through a divorce and other devastating Ds (challenges) that made me fear judgement from the circle of people who’d been part of my life when I was married. I’d worried for nothing. The warm welcome I received made me realize I’d cut myself off from a community whose love and acceptance had nothing to do with my marital status. And though I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, my blog was well-read and grew.

At the same time, I was trying to break into publication and fired magazine articles off at a fast and furious pace. Soon, my first article was published in Inspired Women Magazine (https://www.inspiredwomenmagazine.com) and then I landed a monthly column there. Simultaneously, I was attending writing conferences and working feverishly to finish my debut novel. All while being a single mom of preschoolers and a director of a high maintenance Kinder Care Learning Center! Something had to give. It was my blog.

This weekend, as I read articles describing how various now successful bloggers started their blogs right around the time I did, I felt a moment’s regret. Had I stayed on track then, my blog may be where I’d like it to be today! Before I succumbed completely to the “if I coulda woulda shoulders”, however, I thought back to Joel’s message (it never fails to be exactly what I need), and realized I can’t be bitter about where I was back there as a mom, professional, and writer or I couldn’t have gotten here. Now.

My blog may not be as successful and have as many followers, but I’m a more experienced mom, professional and writer with a that same novel, Seasons of Her Soul, due out in January! I’m also a wife again and part of a big fat blended family. Each of these experiences have grown me as a blogger and I have to believe writing about them will grow my blog. So will including photos, something I learned from Artful Blogging. So I’m thankful for the detour.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Cygnet (a header in Artful Blogging reminded me this is the name for a young swan), and beginning blogger, I must confess I still get discouraged when I think of the amount of time it takes to grow a blog. There are so many details I have yet to master, like how to write the content you readers really want, how to increase traffic, and how to make my posts more visually appealing, etc. But I’m thankful for a magazine like Artful Blogging that informs and inspires me to make my blog the best it can be. Spending time lost in it this weekend did just that and was time well spent.

For those of you who’ve asked why I started the blog, how can you use this information to be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic? Do you have a desire to blog? If so, this magazine is a great resource. I’d love to chat with you about it.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Prepping to Kick Up Women’s Assertiveness Quotient to Maximize Their Success ( & Looking Professional Doing It)

Prepping to Kick Up Women’s Assertiveness Quotient to Maximize Their Success ( & Looking Professional Doing It)

It’s actually Day 138 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project. I’d posted micro-posts on social media but realized I had the day wrong so am coming back to correct it. I also realized those who enjoy the posts about fashion would miss this if I’m not connected with them via FB or LinkedIn…The day was amazing: networking at H7 Connect, having a meeting with my book editor, and setting up at our venue for tomorrow’s all day event. We like to look professional while prepping to present.

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Calvin Klein sheath dress & gray cardigan with suede patchwork elbows. Suede peep toes & bag. 
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I came out of the cards and the heels during set up!

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic chick with a full day ahead of me, I’m going to wrap up preparations. So excited and can’t wait to share about the day tomorrow.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Doing Impromptu Coaching, Lunch and Life – Anyway

Doing Impromptu Coaching, Lunch and Life – Anyway

Day 132 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project was one that felt a bit like a roller coaster ride. After experiencing a high day yesterday during equally magical workshop planning and writing group meetings, I woke up anticipating another top of the world day. After all, I was going to finally submit everything required to have my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, published and I had a lunch date to celebrate a dear friend’s birthday/reunite with one of my former coachees, a young woman who has now become just as dear to my heart. In the midst of finalizing our plans, I received some distressing news that sent my spirit plummeting. When I texted that to my friend Julie, she asked if we should shoot for another day. Rather than reschedule, I asked if we could chat instead. I’d had the pleasure of training her to be a life coach and knew she had mad skills and so was cautiously optimistic that by the time she was done with me, I’d want to do lunch anyway.

Julie, who has the looks of Martina MacBride and the heart of Mother Teresa, responded,  “Please call me.” Even though it’s her birthday and I should have been encouraging her, she talked me off the ledge. She rocked our impromptu coaching session out, and before I knew it, my spirit was climbing back up simply because she took the time to cover all the coaching bases – making me feel safe, being non judgmental, sharing a little about her own experience so I knew she could relate, asking powerful questions and then truly listening, letting me lead the conversation, helping me to establish some action steps, and finally just assuring me that she’s in it with me.

After we adjusted our meeting time slightly, I quickly added a note to the gift tag attached to her birthday gift – a framed print of Mother Teresa. It read: “Sweet Julie, you see Mother Teresa in everyone, but you are the one who has her heart.” Now, in spite of my distressing news, I really couldn’t wait to do lunch (Sushi!) anyway. Spirit way back up!

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Pink Collar Coach with Julie AKA Mother Teresa – not just to me, but to so many others.              Since it was a warm 71 degrees today, we ate our sushi alfresco. My cold shoulder long sleeve top and stretch jeans with peep toe heels made a great transition outfit as it kept me cool and warm enough! Red lipstick  is not my go-to, but Maybelline’s On Fire Red is an exception.                         It brings out the red stripe and gives me a chance to carry my red bag. All Calvin Klein.
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I used to be Briana’s assigned life coach, now, I’m in her life as a coach for the long haul.            Julie says we look like twins/mother and daughter.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick who loves the meaningful lyrics in country music, Martina MacBride’s “Anyway” is a favorite. In fact, it’s one of the songs I covered on the  sampler CD I recorded to accompany Seasons of Her Soul (I hope to put it on MP3 as well).  Prior to Julie providing me with some impromptu coaching, I felt like the truth in these opening lines were enough to keep me low all day:

You can spend your whole life building

                                                             Something from nothin’

                                            One storm can come and blow it all away 

But then, after lunch and just doing just a little bit of life with two Savvy & Chic Soul Sisters, my spirit was  lifted enough that I could come home, submit my book, get on with life, and basically take action on what the last line in the stanza says:

Do it anyway.

What about you? Have ever been the provider or recipient of impromptu coaching? How has it steadied a roller coaster day?

Also, those lyrics are a reminder to keep praying for all of those who are suffering due to Harvey, Irma and the fires.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

 

 

 

Stay in the Saddle and Enjoy the Ride

Stay in the Saddle and Enjoy the Ride

Day 130 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project has been a doozie! As I race toward the finish line in submitting all of the documents for my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, to be published, I feel almost as if I’ve exerted as much effort writing the dedication, epitaph, acknowledgements, word from the author, etc., etc. as I did in writing the book itself! I’m not complaining, just saying that getting published is not for the faint of heart. I feel like I climbed into the publication saddle without being prepared for the long, sometimes uncomfortable ride. Hence the sign below. I snapped a shot of it this summer while on vacation and knew a post would emerge to fit it.

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This applies to so much more than horse back riding!

Publishing a book isn’t the only scenario where one has to be ready for the ride. Academic undertakings, like college or advanced classes to increase career knowledge, lifestyle changes that require discipline such as eating better and exercise, relationships like marriage and parenting, and making a decision to live a faith-filled life are all things that are not to be entered into lightly. Just like a saddle. We need to be ready for the ride before we jump into it. Because once we’re in and off and running, ride can be long, and it’s inevitable that there will be smooth spots, rough ones, and everything in between. Sometimes, though we may feel like it, dismounting is not an option.

Still, as much as I love horseback riding, there are publication preparation days when I can relate to what someone once said about the experience:  “A horse bites in the front, kicks in the back, and is darn uncomfortable in the middle.” Those are the days when I grab on to the saddle and hold tight so I can stay on.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick who’s wanted to be published practically since I could put my foot in a stirrup, I’m glad that I can’t just jump off the horse’s back because it’s a long ride and I’m tired.  Tired or not, there’s so much to be enjoyed and for me to learn in this process. As much as I’m ready for my book to be published and to hold the finished product in my hands, I’m just as ready for the process – the ride.

What saddle have you jumped into and are experiencing a long ride? Hold on tight and try to enjoy it. Remember, it’s not just the product, it’s the process that matters…

Be savvy & chic,

 ~Pink Collar Coach

Never Quit Your Daydream

Never Quit Your Daydream

It’s Day 124 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and after getting a good night’s sleep by my own solutions for storm sleep deprivation to practice, I woke refreshed and raring to go. Women holding on to their daydreams of working for themselves, pursuing their passions and living out their purpose seemed to be the theme of the day. After spending the morning working on submission items for my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, I had an impromptu phone meeting and then an intentional one that reinforced this theme.

The first conversation was with a woman who is operating a nonprofit. She’s been doing it for about a year and was recently nominated for an award for the best resource for her target agency. So impressive! She was reaching out for my coaching expertise and I am honored to provide it. In return, she is going to lend me some support around growing Pink Collar Savvy & Chic. That’s bartering at its best! We come from similar backgrounds (minority females raised in poverty) and have maximized education coupled with a strong work ethic to make our dreams a reality. While working in our full-time careers, there were hard periods when it seemed like quitting our daydreams would be easier. But that was never really an option.

My second conversation was with my former editor, now book coach. This amazing award-winning author landed a three book deal with a reputable Christian publisher and has experienced self-publishing success as well. We were discussing how much labor  goes into the publishing process, whether traditional or self-publishing, and I likened it to child birth. “I feel like I’ve been pregnant with Seasons of Her Soul forever, now I’m just ready to give birth”, I lamented and then worried I’d been overly dramatic. “I know! That’s exactly how I felt,” was her immediate response. I breathed a sigh of relief and she went on to tell me how her coach (much like a labor coach), pushed her throughout the process, leaving her exhausted and spent. But she never gave up on her daydream of becoming an author. And in the end, it was so worth it to see the book come to life. Turns out my childbirth comparison was right on! I emerged from the conversation with a better understanding of how becoming an author is truly a labor of love.

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Shabby Chic Dreamcatcher above my son’s bed. I seldom order from ebay but couldn’t pass this up three years ago when he moved to his own room. A smaller dream catcher hangs from the mirror. To my eye, this photo is as good as one in a magazine. Keeping my daydream alive! All bedding Simply Shabby Chic (it can go boy). The British flag pillows were from Linens & Things.
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Shabby Chic Dreamcatcher in my daughter’s room. Ordered from eBay at the same time. Bedding, lampshade, nightlight, and blue journal all Simply Shabby Chic from Target.                      For me, and hopefully my kiddos, the dream catchers symbolize holding on to your good dreams.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick who has wanted to be a published author and own my own lifestyle magazine that featured beauty, fashion, home decorating, as well as insight and inspiration, I’m still working at my daydream. The desire to write books has remained a constant, while the magazine piece has expanded to include blogging. Furthermore, my dream has evolved and now includes coaching, speaking, training, singing, image and interior consultations. Interacting with two women who never gave up on their daydreams today reinforces my commitment and the fact that I’ll never quit mine.

What is your daydream? Have you quit it? How can you apply yourself to not only start dreaming about it again, but to make it a reality?

Be savvy & chic,

~The Pink Collar Coach